408 - Cookstown Town Hall 1961, Ontario - The Other Side TV

Extra Research for Season 4 – Episode 8 – The Girl With the Red Hair

The South Simcoe Theatre is located in the small village of Cookstown, Ontario within the township of Innisfil that had once been home to the Huron people.

 

Innisfil and the village of Cookstown had many names over the years. In 1825 it was Perry’s Corner. But in the 1830s a man named Thomas Cooke built a log house on the over 600 acres of land he owned and in 1847 registered his land as smaller lots under the name “Cookes Town.”

 

The Dixons built a tavern and small hotel in the mid-1850s and the settlement was known for a while as Dixon’s Corners. However, Thomas Cooke’s name Cookes Town became more well-known and the settlement was eventually changed to Cookstown.

 

One of the first key buildings was Temperance Hall (1867) built by the Members of the Lodge of Good Templars, now known as the International Order of Good Templars. The Good Templars advocated a lifestyle free from alcohol and other drugs. They were also ahead of their time by being in favour of equal rights for all human beings, regardless their gender, ethnicity, religion, and socio-economic background.

 

In 1872 the Hall was used as the Presbyterian Church, but as of 1905 was known as the Town Hall. After World War I it was rebuilt and used as a community hall. In 1927, the Australian Medicine Company held concerts there. In 1952, the Cookstown Lions Club was chartered in the Hall and in 1983 it became the new home of the South Simcoe Theatre group.

 

— Joanne Schiavoni

 

Photo credit: Cookstown Town Hall 1961, Our Stories Innisfil

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